SUMMARY: The permeability of amoebae towards amino acids and inulin was studied under conditions suitable for development of aggregation-competence and in thick cell suspensions. During the pre-aggregation period, the amoebae released large amounts of amino acids and nucleotides into the suspending medium. The uptake of glutamate and lysine by amoebae was passive, but inulin was taken up actively, probably by pinocytosis. Hence the simplest explanation for leakage of metabolites is that the amoebae have no active mechanism for retaining them. A possible relationship between initiation of differentiation and loss of pool metabolites is discussed.


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